GALLIPOLIS — James Perry, 38, of Vinton, was arrested Sept. 20 for allegedly evading police and the case is expected to be discussed before the next Gallia County Grand Jury for possible formal indictment.
According to the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy was sent to investigate a burglary to a residence in Raccoon Township that was reported the evening of Sept. 20. Perry was mentioned as a potential suspect in the burglary investigation. As the deputy was driving in the area of Mount Tabor Road, going toward Holcomb Road, he allegedly saw the suspect driving by him in the opposite direction. Supposedly, the deputy knew Perry from previous interactions.
According to Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning, the deputy turned around and followed the suspected vehicle. The officer approached behind the vehicle and turned on his lights to initiate a traffic stop to speak with the suspect. Afterwards, the vehicle allegedly started to drive more aggressively and passed another vehicle on a double yellow line, not complying with the officer’s lights or siren. The officer felt that he had sufficiently identified the driver of the vehicle to slow his vehicle down and report to the sheriff’s office about the event.
“We base our pursuits on safety factors involving the motoring public and members in the community,” Browning said. “We’re not going to put others at risk unduly. Once the deputy made the identification on the person, he felt it was appropriate to file charges on (the suspect) not stopping in the pursuit.”
According to the Ohio Revised Code 2921.331B,” No person shall operate a motor vehicle so as willfully to elude or flee a police officer after receiving a visible or audible signal from a police officer to bring the person’s motor vehicle to a stop.”
Violation of this section of the code could potentially result in a felony case.
Later the evening in question, according to the sheriff, Perry called the 911 dispatch center to speak with an officer about being “wrongfully accused” of a crime. He met with deputies at the Gallia County Courthouse and was arrested on an outstanding warrant for allegedly failing to appear in court on another matter. Perry allegedly signed a rights waiver form and agreed to speak with deputies about the incident during an interview. Perry allegedly denied having anything to do with the prior burglar investigation or driving the car that did not pull over for deputies.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.